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Rental Yield Optimisation Strategies: Get More Rent By Increasing Your Property’s Appearance

May 12, 2021

Increasing your rental property’s yield is a very valuable task — an increase of $20-50 per week can contribute to a significant upside over the lifetime of your investment. However, simply ‘upping’ your weekly rental asking price *without* increasing the appeal of your property may lead to a higher vacancy rate (and therefore lower ROI).

One of the ways we help our clients increase rental yield is by helping them improve the appearance of their property or properties. The premise of this article is very simple: the better a property looks, the more rent you can charge (within reason). Plus, a nicer looking property will attract higher quality tenants. A well-maintained property benefits everyone.

It’s important to make sure that you don’t overcapitalise on your efforts to improve your property. Spending a fortune on a complete overhaul might not be a good idea if you can’t recoup this via increased rental repayments. Improving your property’s cosmetic appeal is a balancing act, however there are some highly-leveraged strategies and tactics you can employ to improve looks without having to invest too much. Let’s look at some…

Improving Your Property’s Exterior

Curb Appeal

The way your property looks from the street is a huge drawcard. Potential tenants will be quick to judge a property that looks tired or under-maintained. The saying ‘first impressions last’ is very relevant here. Ask yourself:

  • Is the property’s exterior in clean and in good condition? Would you be ‘proud’ to live in the property?
  • Are gates, pathways, and other foot areas neat and tidy?
  • Are driveways and car parking areas properly maintained?
  • Are there any weeds or overgrown plants that could be removed?
  • Could any external item benefit from a lick of paint?
  • Are gutters and roofing maintained and working correctly?

Depending on your property, it may only take you (or a contractor) half a day to overcome the above concerns.

Back Yard

While a back yard is (usually) not visible from the street, a neat and tidy yard will attract higher quality tenants and therefore higher weekly rent. Ask yourself:

  • Are garden beds, lawns, pathways, and fences in good order?
  • Are there any weeds or overgrown plants that could be removed?
  • Is the yard suitable for a family (or your ideal tenant type)? If not, how could you improve it?
  • If your property has a pool, is the water clear and free from debris? Is your pool pump (and other equipment) looking neat and tidy?

External Walls

Lastly, ensure all external walls of your property are clean and in good order. If your property is a home or townhouse, spending a few hours washing exterior walls (or engaging a contractor) can pay dividends.

Improving Your Property’s Interior

Kitchen

Kitchens are usually one of the most ‘trafficked’ areas of a home and will be placed under the most scrutiny from potential tenants. Even the slightest hint of dirt, overuse, or age can deter a tenant. When assessing your kitchen, ask yourself:

  • If you have a dishwasher, is it modern and clean? If you don’t have dishwasher, consider installing one.
  • Are your taps and sinks modern and clean? New tapware is relatively inexpensive however can create a significant improvement to the quality of a kitchen.
  • Are benchtops and cabinetry in good condition?
  • Are cupboards clean and functioning properly?
  • Is the kitchen floor looking fresh?
  • Does the kitchen have natural light and access to fresh air?

Bathrooms

Tenants also place high value on the quality of a property’s bathrooms. Ask yourself…

  • Are showers, toilets and baths modern and clean? Replace any old shower curtains and consider painting over tiles (instead of replacing them).
  • Are your taps and sinks modern and clean? New tapware is relatively inexpensive.
  • Are benchtops and cabinetry in good condition?
  • Are cupboards clean and functioning properly?
  • Is your extractor fan clean and functioning properly?
  • Does the bathroom smell OK?

Flooring

Regardless of your property’s floor coverings, they need to be clean and look reasonably new. Tired floor covering can also lead to unwanted odours.

Consider investing in deep carpet cleaning or floor polishing.

Storage

Ample storage is another drawcard for tenants. Ask yourself…

  • Does your property have enough storage areas for the number of tenants it holds?
  • Are linen cupboards and bedroom storage cupboards clean and free from odour?
  • If you have outdoor storage (eg. a shed), is it clean and tidy?

Internal Walls

Lastly, ensure all internal walls of your property are clean and in good order. Additionally, a fresh coat of paint is a low-cost initiative that could create a significant upside to the ‘vibe’ and ‘freshenss’ of your property.

Other Strategies To Consider

Additional strategies to increase rental yield include…

  • Focusing on your kitchen and bathroom(s) as a priority, if your funds or time are scarce.
  • Focusing on the things that tenants touch the most. This means improving door handles and locks, tap fittings, light switches, and toilets/showers.
  • Adding other points of differentiation. If your property has a unique point of differentiation, like a kids cubby house, mini-playground, plunge pool, or other similar drawcard, you can justify asking for more rent.
  • Adding new rooms or living areas. Sure, this isn’t a cheap exercise. However, a five bedroom home will usually command more rent than a four bedroom home. If the numbers work longer term, this could be a viable strategy.

Need Help Increasing Your Rental Yield?

Over the past 8 years, the team at Zevesto has helped hundreds of landlords get more rent and better tenants.

Unlike most property managers who are simply spread too thin to provide any level of service, Zevesto has strict controls to ensure your property receives the attention it deserves including…

  • Proactive marketing to ensure your property is always rented
  • Proper pricing to help you maximise your return on investment
  • Comprehensive screening to weed out problem tenants before it’s too late
  • Thorough, system-based inspections to keep tenants accountable, and detect maintenance issues while they are small and easy to fix
  • Daily account management to make sure rent is paid on time and in full
  • Mastery of the latest legal tenancy law to ensure compliance and risk mitigation
  • Yield Maximisation advice to help you get more rent and better tenants, so you make higher,
    hassle-free profits
  • And regular communication to keep you informed

If you’d like us to manage your property with zero management fees for six months, Request A Rent Success Session with one of Zevesto’s specialists during which…

  • You’ll get a clear picture of the current rental market and a realistic idea of what your home may rent for
  • You’ll get fresh ideas about what you can do – quickly, easily and affordably – to boost the value of your home and make it attractive to reliable renters who pay on time, stay longer, and look after your property as if it was their own
  • You’ll identify barriers that may prevent your home from renting (and ideas to overcome these things without wasting money on unnecessary renovations)
  • And you’ll explore how the team at Zevesto can help you get more rent and better tenants, so you can make higher, hassle-free profits from your investment property

Unlike most free services that are more like thinly veiled sales pitches, your Free Rent Success Session will give you our best advice, with zero obligation to engage us further.

Naturally, our hope is that by sharing our local expertise in this way, you’ll get so much valuable advice that you’ll consider choosing or recommending Zevesto in the future. In any case, you have nothing to lose.

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